9780415087629

The Witch in History: Early Modern and Twentieth-Century Representations

by ;
  • ISBN13:

    9780415087629

  • ISBN10:

    0415087627

  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Nonspecific Binding
  • Copyright: 1996-10-14
  • Publisher: Routledge

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Summary

Throughout history the figure of the witch has embodied both male nightmare and female fantasy. While early modern women used belief and ritual to express and manage powerful feelings, the symbols and images surrounding the witch in the New World largely distorted the European views of Native American religions. In our own era, groups as diverse as women writers, academic historians and radical feminists have found in the witch a figure who justifies and defines their own identities. And there are many in the 1990s who still call themselves witches. From colonial narratives to court records and from Shakespeare to Sylvia Plath,The Witch in Historyshows how the witch has acted and continues to embody the fears, desires and fantasies of women and men.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements vii
Introduction 1(6)
Part I The histories of witchcraft 7(84)
1 A Holocaust of one's own: the myth of the Burning Times
7(23)
2 At play in the fields of the past: modern witches
30(29)
3 The witch in the hands of historians: a tale of prejudice and fear
59(32)
Part II Early modern women's stories of witchcraft 91(88)
4 The house, the body, the child
91(28)
5 No limit: the body of the witch
119(26)
6 Self-fashioning by women: choosing to be a witch
145(34)
Part III Witches on stage 179(97)
7 Elizabethan stagings: the witch, the queen, class
179(20)
8 The all-singing, all-dancing plays of the Jacobean witch-vogue: The Masque of Queens, Macbeth, The Witch
199(32)
9 Testimony and truth: The Witch of Edmonton and The Witches of Lancashire
231(19)
10 The witch on the margins of `race': Sycorax and Others
250(26)
Conclusion: bread into gingerbread and the price of transformation 276(10)
Index 286

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